We have been looking at why asking the right questions is so important in the sales process – well here’s a question for you.
How can you tell what your prospects are actually thinking?
The answer is simple – ask them good questions and they will give you all the information you need to help them. Wasn’t it Freud who said “If you ask enough questions the truth will eventually come out”.
It’s vitally important that you know what your prospects are thinking – what their problems and needs really are, and what’s important to them – so you can tailor the best solution for them.
If you want your prospects to think about the convenience your product or service provides, ask a good, open-ended question about that topic. While the prospect is talking, you know his/her mind is focused on that topic. When you want to focus the customers mind on something else, ask a question on that new topic.
Never ask a buyer any questions about a subject you don’t wish them to think about.
This may sound obvious however many salespeople ask questions about current providers and budgets. What happens in the buyers mind when they think – we have spent our budget this year?
Think of questions that will enable you to uncover your prospects’ wants and needs and potentially give you the opportunity to sell him/her your solution(s).
The best sales questions to ask prospects are the ones that get your prospects talking.
Once you ask your questions you can employee your ears before you engage your mouth. Your questions put you in to an automatic listening mode. Not asking questions gets you, the wrong person, talking too much.
Being a good listener is the fastest way to increase your sales – it also happens to be the best way.
No one ever listened their way out of a sale.
Guide to Preparing Good Questions
. Be sure your questions are open-ended. You’re not a lawyer. You’re an explorer. You won’t learn much when you ask yes/no type questions. Remember your goal is to get your prospects and customers talking.
. Be sure your questions are personalized and tailored to the person you’re talking to. A good question shows interest and reveals your concern for the buyer’s current situation.
. Great questions also help create trust and rapport
. Prepare your questions in writing. A really good question starts in your mind and ends up on paper. If it’s not on paper you can’t make it better.
. You can make every word count by eliminating all unnecessary words from the question you are crafting. Make sure every word in your question adds value to the questions.
. The right questions can demonstrate your understanding of the prospects business and build great credibility for you in the prospects eyes
. Focus on brevity. If you want to be clear, you must be concise. Less is always more when it comes to a carefully worded question. Short and sweet is better than long and sour.
. Unfortunately, what most salespeople don’t get is, your choice of words during a sales call is even more important hence the need to pre-plan your questions.
. Its no use having the right answer if you aren’t asking the right questions
. Remember – Never tell a buyer anything you can ask them!!!
Quote of the Week –
“If you are speaking and not getting a reaction, well you are just making a speech”
Have a successful week!
BRETT BURGESS is a sales trainer and programme developer for Moss and Associates International.